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A Clarion Call to Delete Cyberbullying This work is considered exceptional by our editorial staff.

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Death – it’s something we all have to face eventually. Ironically, it’s a part of life. But there are some instances where death steals someone away far too soon. The recent death of Staten Island’s New Dorp High School student Amanda Cummings is one such case. Only fifteen, Amanda was driven over the edge by peers who harassed her on Facebook. Cruel words virtually flung at her somehow convinced this beautiful girl with a bright future that she had no reason to live anymore. In her wake, she left an island suddenly sobered by the seriousness of an issue that robbed us of someone so undeserving of her fate: cyber-bullying.
There have been many stories of young teens committing suicide because of online bullying, but it doesn’t seem real until it happens in your own city. Bullying in school has always been a problem. However, bullying has recently expanded its grip on young people through the use of social networking sites. Unlike school bullying, there is no escape from cyber-bullying after the last bell of the school day. Rather than home being a safe place you can return to, technology has turned it into a place where bullying only gets worse. For a bully, the Internet is a goldmine of potential victims. Cyber-bullying doesn’t seem like a big deal when you can’t see the pain on someone’s face- the tears that you have inflicted. Sadly, the victims believe the lie that they are worthless. Nobody deserves to live with the seeds of depression a cyber-bully can plant.
There is nothing we can do now for the teens who have already let bullying drive them over the edge, but there is something we can do in their memory, to keep their names alive for the next teen who is a victim of cyber- bullying; who has no safe place to turn to, because even their home has been infiltrated by Facebook pages, wall posts, and comments. I challenge my fellow high school students to stand with me in making a change so that such a tragedy never has to take place again. No matter how tempting or funny it may be to you, don’t take part in dealing out malicious comments. Before you say anything against anyone, think about how you would feel if it were you logging onto your Facebook and seeing people amused at your expense. If you see anyone saying hateful things to anyone on Facebook, tell someone, whether it’s a parent, a guidance counselor, or a teacher. There is nothing worse than staying silent; your silence indirectly allows the cyber-bullying to continue.
Let your voice be heard. Reach out to the victim and tell them how much they are worth. Cancel out the millions of nasty comments with just as many words of praise. Make them aware of the value we all have as human beings. There is nothing more valuable than a trustworthy friend in dark times. You can be that person who keeps someone going for one more day.





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